Few things are more aggravating than putting a meal into the oven and it is not heating up. It is usually the way that you find out your oven is not working. Now you are stuck with a dinner that needs to be cooked and no oven to do it in. Although the appliance can be not heating for many reasons, check your oven for a few of the more common problems that occur.
Power or Fuel Supply
The first thing to check for in an electric oven is whether any power is going to it. The problem might be something as simple as a tripped circuit breaker. Ovens are on their own circuit breakers, so even if the kitchen light, refrigerator or microwave is working, it can still not work due to a break in the circuit.
For a gas oven, your first line of attack is to check and make sure your gas supply is there. Many homes have the propane tanks outside their home, and this may be empty. If the gas is supplied from pipes coming in off the street, check and make sure your gas is on by turning on a burner on the stove to see if it lights up.
Another reason for a gas oven not to be heating up is that the pilot light for the gas has gone out and needs to be re-lit. Do not do this if there is a strong odor of gas in the house. Follow the safety precautions of opening up your windows and calling your gas company when a strong odor is present.
The electric oven is heated by two heating elements. One is found at the top of your oven and the other at the bottom. If your stove is not heating up, it can be due to the elements not being plugged in correctly, or they may be broken. Flip the circuit breaker to your oven before touching either one of these elements. The element comes out at the connector, which plugs it into the oven to receive its power supply. If this is loose, it may just need to be pushed in so the connection is snug.
Another reason for the oven not to be heating is that the elements are not working because they have burnt out or are cracked. You can check for this type of damage with a flashlight. Burned-out spots or cracks may not be easy to see, so you may need to unplug the element from its docking area in the stove to inspect it. Again only do this if the power is off at the circuit breaker.
The thermostat, which registers the amount of heat needed to heat your oven to a specific temperature, may be broken. This can be for either a gas or electric stove. If this unit is not working correctly, your oven will not heat up. If you are trained in oven repair, follow the schematics that came with the appliance; if not, you should call a repairman for this job.
Roz Zurko is a full time freelance writer who lives in Westfield, Massachusetts. She has been writing for 22 years and is published on several internet literary sites and in The Westfield Evening News. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of New Haven and Westfield State College.